It's hard to think back 9 whole years and try to remember exactly when J reached certain milestones but I do remember a few 'clues'.
He would wake up from naps in a really grumpy mood for no obvious explanation at around a year old. Ditto for T. Now she seems less grumpy after naps, but a few months ago there was a definite similarity to how J used to be.
Thankfully she does seem to sleep well which is something J never did (and still doesn't do!!!) He dropped his daytime naps completely by 15 months and needed a lot of effort to get him to sleep before that for naps.
I remember he had a few words like 'duck' and 'cat' at around a year. T had very few words at a year old and still doesn't say many words T 16 months. I need to remind myself that actually babies and children all develop at a different pace so this in itself may not indicate anything. She is still young and speech can develop lots over the next few months.
She has become particularly 'shy' around other people and very wary and clingy. Now this is different to J at this age who would go up to total strangers and put his arms up for a cuddle! Again this could just be an age / phase thing as lots of children go through clingy stages and it is normal for them to do so.
We distinctly remember that D (non-ASD, now 7 years old), used to be very sensitive to being told-off or told 'no' from a very young age. From around 9 months old he would burst into tears if he was told 'no'. And he would stop doing the thing that you had told him to stop doing.
This is where J and T are very different. It is much more a case of totally ignoring their name (which I read only very recently that can be an early indicator of ASD at 12 months of age), and carrying on doing the thing they are not supposed to be doing regardless of being told 'no'.
I guess time will tell. J got a diagnosis at age 5 and a half (but we had concerns from around age 4 and a half). There were some early tell-tale signs too that we didn't realise at the time but looking back probably were a sign that things were 'different' for him... things like:
- Always being on the go.
- Being a bit of an escape artist - from 9 months old, no form of buckle, clip, or belt could keep him seated. He would find a way of escaping out of buggies, highchairs and car seats.
- No fear or sense of safety - He would be able to climb pretty much anywhere and he would think of doing things that would not even occur to other children his age to try. T seems to be quite a good climber, too!
- 'Misbehaving' when around other children e.g. at toddler groups. It is only post-diagnosis that we realise this was most probably due to sensory overload.
- Being able to confidently do mental addition at aged 3 (plus and minus and several staged sums too!) when his peers were just learning to count numbers for the first time. This progressed to being able to do times-tables at age 4.
- When he sent 20 Christmas cards to his friends at pre-school, he only received one back!
- He was rarely invited to playdates when others his age were.
Our suspicions for T are just that at this stage, just suspicions and may prove to be totally wrong.